A ferry is a form of transport, typically a boat or ship, but also other forms, carrying (or ferrying) passengers and sometimes their vehicles. Ferries are also used to transport shipment (in Lorries and sometimes empowered freight containers) and even railroad cars. Most ferries operate on regular, everyday, return services. A foot-passenger ferry with many stops, such as in Venice, is also known as waterbus or water taxi.
Ferries form a part of the public transport systems of many riverside cities, allow direct transit between points at a capital cost much lower than bridges or tunnels.
The busiest seaway in the world joined with Great Britain with the rest of Europe across the English Channel. Sailing mainly to french ports, such as Calais, Cherbourg-Osterville and Le Havre, ferries starting from the Great Britain also sail to Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway and Spain. Some ferries carry mainly tourist traffic, but most also carry freight, and some are completely for the use of freight Lorries.
The great cruise ferries sail in the Baltic Sea between Finland, Sweden, Germany and Estonia and from Italy to Albania and Greece. In many ways, these ferries are like sail ships, but they can also carry hundreds of cars on car decks. In Britain, car-carrying ferries are sometimes referred to as RORO (roll-on, roll-off) for the effortlessness by which vehicles can board and leave.
In Australia, two Spirit of Tasmania ferries carry passenger and vehicles 300 kilometers across Bass Strait, which separate Tasmania from the Australian mainland. These run during the night but also contain day crossings in peak time. Both ferry are based in the northern Tasmanian port city of Devonport and sail to Melbourne, Victoria.